Cynics often say that any positive responses to homeopathy are the result of the placebo effect.

Yet I have seen homeopathy work on infants, dogs, horses, and even on plants. I submit that this was not the result of a placebo effect. I have seen strong advocates of homeopathy try different remedies over long periods of time until one finally worked. If a placebo effect was at play, why wouldn’t it kick in sooner?

There are famous cases where people set out to prove that homeopathy did not work – only to find it helped them. Surely their mindset was not open to the placebo effect.

I think it is in poor taste to look down on the placebo effect in the first place – as something that is “just in someone’s head.”

We should learn how to tap into the placebo effect and to maximize it.

And if homeopathy can be assisted by the power of the mind, more power to it.

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How to Antidote a Remedy

Sometimes the positive effects of a homeopathic remedy are accidentally antidoted – by plane travel, paint fumes, dental work, MRI’s, or even by taking another remedy.

Why would someone want to antidote a homeopathic remedy? In some cases, a person can have a negative response. They may be too sensitive to a particular remedy, or may have taken it in too high or low a potency. In rare cases a healing aggravation may trigger a symptom that on some occasions (interview day, for example) may need to be stopped.

Please note that it is important to distinguish whether a symptom is a “proving” of a remedy, a healing aggravation, or whether it is simply a worsening of the condition, independent of the remedy. (True healing aggravations will be discussed next time).

There are several methods traditionally used to antidote a homeopathic remedy. It is not so much a factor of the method itself – it is more often contingent upon the sensitivities of the person.

Drinking a lot of coffee or strong mint tea in some cases may antidote a remedy. This does not work for everyone. Regular coffee drinkers who get no adverse effects from coffee, such as rapid heartbeat, seem to be able to continue drinking coffee without it antidoting the remedies that are working for them.

Rubbing camphor on the chest (for example, Vick’s VapoRub) may act as an antidote. Use with caution as directed. Lactating mothers should not use this method.

I know of a case where someone needed the remedy Sepia but took too much Sepia in a 200c potency. The Sepia symptoms worsened. But she still needed Sepia. In this case, taking one dose of Sepia 12c resolved the situation within minutes. This only works if it is the remedy the person actually needed in the first place.

Antidoting remedies with other remedies is not generally the best route to take. In fact, when you see antidotes listed under “relationships” in a homeopathic material medica, it is the substance being referred to, not the homeopathic remedy. For example, the remedy Mercurius Solubilis is listed as an “antidote” to Antimonium tartaricum, Aurum Metallicum and Dulcamara, to name a few. This means the remedy MAY be helpful in situations where a person accidentally took too much of one of those substances in its raw form, not the diluted homeopathic form. Of course, accidental poisonings should always be referred to the appropriate medical care.

If you are cautious with homeopathy and don’t take more than the required amount, you will probably never face a situation where you need to antidote. Taking the minimal amount needed is a good rule of thumb. In fact, that is one of the basic tenets of classical homeopathy.

(The above information is for educational purposes and is not intended to replace services of healthcare professionals. It does not constitute medical advice or medical opinion. Please contact your licensed medical practitioner when needed.)

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The Deal with Poison Ivy

Some people use the homeopathic remedy Rhus Tox with great success for rashes from poison ivy. Some people will never use homeopathy again because Rhus Tox made their rash worse. Some people do in fact need a different remedy, and Rhus Tox can worsen the situation. If you take Rhus Tox and worsen, stop repeating it.
When someone needs Rhus Tox, the rash typically feels worse from cold air and better from hot water.
If the person feels absolutely distraught from the itching, and doesn’t match the Rhus Tox description, it could be that Anacardium Orientale would work better.
If a honey-like fluid is oozing from the area, it could be a case for Graphites. There are other remedies for poison ivy cases of different descriptions.
One of the most effective approaches is to take your “constitutional remedy” for a case of poison ivy, if you know what yours is. (A constitutional remedy matches the person’s overall physical and mental / emotional patterns.) If you are under constitutional care from a homeopath, please consult with them.
One dose of a constitutional remedy in 200c is enough for some people, though it may need to be repeated if itch and rash return. The itch usually lessens significantly within hours with the correct remedy.

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How long should you wait to see a response to a remedy?

A general rule of thumb is that a condition should get better in the same amount of time it took to develop, or faster. The more intense and acute the situation, the faster the correct homeopathic remedy should work. It is not uncommon to see changes within a few seconds or minutes in response to a remedy when there is intensity. You may see a fever go down quickly and the eyes look better within minutes, for example.
With some situations such as a flu with a cough that gets worse at night, if you give a remedy during the day, and the cough worsens again at night, it may not mean the remedy was incorrect, because the pattern is one that flares up at that time. Look for improvement over the course of a few days. If you are able to recover from a cough in a few days, where other people with the same flu are suffering for a few weeks from apparently the same illness, a few days is an acceptable time frame. It is not realistic to recover from a cough in a few minutes or hours. (The sooner you take measures to intervene when a cold/cough appears, the better).
For some situations you have to remove a contributing cause. For example, if you take the correct remedy for your carpal tunnel, but continue to do the type of work that led to the condition, and not do the recommened exercises / stretches, the remedy will not have a chance to be effective.
For chronic conditions it would necessarily take more time. Homeopathy, used correctly, should be given at least a month for every year a person has had a condition to see progress, for example with Lyme disease.
Of course, please consult with your licensed medical practitioner when needed.

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How Aconite saved me thousands of dollars

A few years ago, I had some dental work done. I didn’t need a root canal beforehand, but after the needed drilling was done, the nerve was traumatized and I had severe pain with the pulpitis. A root canal was deemed necessary, since there was “no way to reduce the inflammation of the nerve inside the tooth.” I asked my dentist if it was safe to wait a few days and see if I could calm down the nerve. He thought it was safe, but warned me, as I now warn you, that if you wait too long with a pulpitis, the nerve can die. (The pain goes away at that point, but the real trouble will then begin, and a root canal will then be a necessity, as the inside of the nerve will become infected.)

I used homeopathic Aconite and it immediately calmed down the pain. In two days my tooth felt fine and I was given the okay to cancel any root canal plans. Not all pulpitis cases match Aconite, but it is one of the main remedies used, and it matched my pain pattern exactly. I have successfully avoided three root canals over the years. Thanks to a few pennies worth of this remedy.

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Fight or flight

The fight or flight response is one of the most recognizable patterns we can produce when we react to stress. Several remedies made from natural substances correlate to this pattern. Aconitum Napellus (Monkshood), is a poisonous plant that, if accidentally ingested, causes symtoms such as numbness, palpitations, restlessness, panic, and thirst. This plant, when prepared as a safe homeopathic remedy, has been used in applications such as sudden inflammations, panic attacks, sudden earaches, and many more. It appears to have the ability to interrupt the inflammatory process, or the panic attack, and calm it down. Please use this information with caution and of course seek appropriate medical attention when needed.

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Breaking bridges

Did you know that armies are trained to walk out of step when they cross a bridge? Each bridge has a resonance rating, which is a particular vibration that makes it resonate. If the soldiers march at multiple of wavelength of the bridge resonance, it can create a vibration in the bridge. The bridge can vibrate itself off its foundation and collapse. That image reminds me of homeopathy.

When you are in a pattern that is not serving you well, with it’s indigestion or perfectionism, it’s useful to know that there are natural ways of breaking a negative pattern – not by fighting it , but by mirroring it with a matching remedy. There are hundreds of different stress coping patterns – each correlating to different substances from nature. The study of homeopathy is the study of plants and minerals and which patterns they can break.

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Homeopathy as I see it

There are varying opinions on how homeopathy works. After 16 years of studying classical homeopathy (which I understand is only a start), I would like to share my take on what is going on with this unique approach to health.
When we react to stress, it may appear that our mental, emotional, and bodily symptoms are random effects of stress. But when you look carefully, the symptoms form what is, in the field of homeopathy, a recognizable pattern.

When substances from nature are ingested to the point of creating toxic effects, a pattern is created, including physical, mental and emotional symptoms. By matching these two patterns, you can find the homeopathic remedy a person can benefit from. (In the correct preparation of homeopathic remedies, the natural substance is diluted to a safe level).

The body puts energy into creating symptoms. We are often fighting that energy (by trying to chemically or otherwise stop the symptom). Many times it is an uphill battle. What if we could work with that energy instead of against it?
In the homeopathic approach you take the signals the person is presenting with and apply a substance that goes in the same direction, not the opposite direction. By going in the same direction, the pattern can then resolve itself, calming down, or completely disappearing.

Stay tuned for more.

P.S. To read about pattern matching, the best book on the subject is “Stramonium: with an introduction to analysis of cycles and segments” by Paul Herscu, ND. He and Amy Rothenberg run the New England School of Homeopathy. What they teach and publish are of the highest quality available. Paul Herscu’s concepts of cycles and segments strongly influence the way I perceive homeopathy and the way I help my clients.

P.P.S. I am not against modern medicine. It is useful to have different systems that can stop symptoms or work against them when needed !

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